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© 2019 by Ghostpile Records.

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Ghostpile Records is an eclectic agglomeration of experimental music trying to bring new and interesting sounds to the masses. 

MUSIC REVIEws

If you would like to be considered for a music review, please head to the submissions page to submit your music. It can be an album, or a single.

DEPTHCRUISER

by Saul Bleaeck

a review based on their recently released album

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infinity & beyond, full length album

Contrary to Depthcruiser’s own description, ‘a strange and breathtaking world where man does not belong,’ I found myself right at home within the first 45 seconds of ‘Infinity and Beyond’.  Released 10th of May 2019 but set in interplanetary colonized Solar System 25th century, the album opens with a mesmerizing cut. ‘Through Invisible Borders’ hosts a straight ahead melody which floods in repetitions so as to create a Philip Glassian style flow. The head-nodding turns to toe-tapping with the minimal beat and bass alongside synth sweeps in the second track, ‘Love on a Spaceship'.

 

‘Phantoms of Reality’ flares into pulse with a house/club sensibility. There is a machine heartbeat ever present in this track; specks of nervous electronic lining pan left and right to create a nice tension. Tender synth notes are hit without daring to stray from the rhythm.  Really hypnotic stuff enfolds the listener. This rise is chased with a Twin Peaks-esk space-lounge slow track, ‘5000 Light-Years From Home.’ A ride cymbal steady along with surrounding easy rattle and again, minimal synth work makes for a serene, ‘here am I sitting in a tin can’ type of reflection. 'Journey Beyond Tomorrow (MMXIX) closes the album in a groove that serenades with funk and cosmic dub. 

 

Depthcruiser seduces the listener - in this solar trippy release – to imagine a time and space in which humanity is defined by grand achievement and yet still unsatisfied.  This doesn’t seem like a situation altogether different than present day; the struggle between expansion and contentedness is age-old. Yet what he has done with these compositions is set a sort of mystical serenity into play. The futuristic sci-fi realm presented isn’t violent and chaotic, it’s welcoming and charmed. The listener gains an astral experience within these five scenarios or scenes. The experience in cinematic structures and modular settings rings through ‘Infinity and Beyond.’ At the time of this publication, Depthcruiser has announced his own future with the September release-to-be of ’24 Hours Before the Love.’  

Written by Saul Bleaeck, staff writer

August 18th, 2019

CYBER SHAMAN

by Saul Bleaeck

a review based on their recently released collaborative album

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shaman's techno gathering vol 1, collaborative album

House-noire, prog-industrial.  Nuanced in biodiversity…  

 

Massive - in a word - both musically in breadth and scale, but too, in cohesive collaboration.  Various artists melded with Cyber Shaman lending a sincere united message without explicitly stating any such cliche.  

 

The 17 track album relays a build-in inherent party vibe as such; each track excellent in its own yet contributing to a growing collective revelation.  This effect is compounded furthermore when, as the album progresses, the listener discovers co-mutual threesomes [remixes, tracks 12-16 & revisited theme track 17].  You get the notion that there are intimate side conversations taking place in the hidden dark corners of the larger setting - perhaps an abandoned warehouse which for the duration of the ‘Gathering’ is scene and sense for our underground rave.

 

This is my personal introduction to Cyber Shaman and several of the other eleven featured artists: Definite, Melodywhore, Greenmamba, Peter Cruch, Aneillo Guerro, Andy Rodrigues, Deepex>on, Frank, DJ Martymart, Zero 2.2, Drunx.  It spikes my curiosity into these talented producers other bodies of work - even if at first a bit overwhelmingly so.  This project, as a ‘Vol. I’ even self-alludes to future-further collaborations - a thrilling and tantalizing prophetic vision-cast.  Overall, a tremendous sonic and social accomplishment.  Not an entirely unique model but one masterfully pulled together in co-conspiritorial fashion.  

 

The listener is graced with multiple disciplines of techno conveniently all in one place.  The album really drives - never exceeding inappropriate overdrive, at times laying off the gas for sweeping obtuse angles.  A really steady - never boring - trip.  Upon completion, one is left with a sublime awe.  This kind of thing, a nearly 2 hour journey of international contributions, convincingly rings home the message #ilovetechno as Cyber Shaman tweets via @K_Langelier - a reference to Stephen King’s past-devouring teethy goons?  If so, even if not so, this album has set a milestone and a projection for more amazing things to come.

Written by Saul Bleaeck, staff writer

July 22nd, 2019

HOLLOWLOVE

by Gregory Jack Rogers

a review based on their recently released album

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hollowlove, full length album

I've heard the name Hollowlove in the #synthfam community but didn't know much about them until I got this assignment.  I will admit, as much as I enjoy reviewing new material, it's a challenge making an effort to listen to at least one new thing every day.  Who doesn't have 3-5 minutes to spare?  Yes, I know... but I digress.  

 

Hollowlove describes themselves as a moody electropop duo from Vancouver, Canada.  Producer Keith Gillard and vocalist slash illustrator Ryan Slemko have been creating music together for many years as 'Fidgital' with some success.  In 2016, they took their creativity in a new direction "They focused on mood and atmosphere, celebrating the frayed but sexy edges of life: existential angst, despair, vulnerability, hope, love and dance." Excerpt from their Spotify Bio.  

 

First impressions: If Bryan Ferry and George Michael were to have a baby, a finely crafted Hollowlove would be the result.  But there's so much more going on in here.  I hear elements from other 80s influences and I'm drawn in.  

 

So out of the gate, they hit you with "Hazard Lights": a sensual driving beat that has a great feel to it.  I want to get up and dance, but you could just as easily chill to this track.  I dig it.  

 

The next track "Reset" has a little bit of an electro feel to it, so a little different.  Great resonant filtered synths in here.  

 

"Origami Heart" is light electro pop that reminds me a little of A-ha, a little Pet Shop Boys.  Slemko's vocals lend to the overall feel of the tracks I've heard so far.  

 

Interesting thing... as I'm listening through these tracks.  It's diverse but not too far out there.  There's a funk thread woven craftily through some of these tracks.  "I Love My Computer" has a Prince vibe to it but they make it their own.  "Serpentine" makes another turn and this has an Erasure vibe to it.  I must say that Slemko's voice is quite diverse. 

 

"River of Crows" is an instrumental that reminded me of Depeche Mode a little, but again, Hollowlove maintains their sound.  

 

"Shapeshifting" begins with an androgynous voice speaking the song title and we get a little bit of a trance-y kind of feel moving through the track.  There's not a lot to grab onto in this track, but what is there carries you through: a driving slow beat with synths and Slemko's voice.

 

"Particle and Wave" is a sensual collage.  Very much so funkwave if there was such a thing.  It's a strong song and keeps you drawn in.  Again, vocals are a strong suit in here. 

 

The final song is "Everything Falls in Line" and it's a LONG song at nine minutes even.  But it is a thumper with a nice driving beat and ethereal timbres and atmosphere.  

 

Over all the album is clean, well produced and catchy. I could easily listen to this as background music or jam out to it.  If I didn’t already know that these two had been working together already for years, it would be pretty obvious. They do compliment each other well.  I reviewed it wearing studio cans so I can assure you that this album sounds great in headphones.   

I definitely recommend it.  

Hollowlove is available to stream in the common places.  You can also support them at bandcamp

Written by Gregory Jack Rogers, staff writer

July 22nd, 2019

TERRORDYNE

by Saul Bleaeck

a review based on his recently released album

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wrong turn, full length album

'Lone Wolf' & 'Crisis' accelerate out of the titular track 'Wrong Turn' - an epic and mood setting intro - with the methodic pulsing of engine pistons. Pumping bass beats meet catches of combustive snare hits.

 

'Night Crawler' & 'Signals' carry the eerie house music mixed into synthy psyc-trance mode forth but cleverly introduce frantic high frequency melodies. These tracks are split by an interlude track ['Ad Victoriam']. The plot - musical drama - thickens and a listener's nerves begin to tingle along with the mysterious scenarios projected via the track titles and haunting leer of vocal samples which are more jarring in tonality than coherent.

 

In the bandcamp only 'Phantasm (Terrordyne Remix),' and also in 'Harbinger' - the melodies really summon the vintage suspense-horror motif. Something of greater lament yet remniscent of the Halloween theme... Perhaps the choral voices low in the mix.

 

'Father Turbo' suggests some kind of priest of video game horror-laden suspense not only in titular manner but consistent sonic experience.  

 

A more ambient intro & outro fit the final track, 'Blood Marker', helping defy the rest of the album's description on bandcamp: a body with a false moniker of a suicide note; a detective's conundrum...

 

Terrordyne frequently promotes other artists via the twitter handle @Terrordyne. Atop an eclectic feed, a brief montage of 'Lone Wolf' can be watched set to the early climactic battle confrontations from the iconic anime Akira. This further blurs the presented literary subtext of the album.  It feels like plot & concrete story are foregone conclusions in this concept work.  

 

Triumphantly dancey and creepy - dark & moody but with shimmer; like purple-black glitter. Never cheesey - a high feat of an album is 'Wrong Turn.'  I rolled this album twice on a recent road trip - recommended cruising speed: 80mph!

Written by Saul Bleaeck, staff writer

June 22nd, 2019

SAPPHIRA

by Saul Bleaeck

a review based on one of her singles

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dark angel, single

In less than four minutes and only eight lyrical lines, Sapphira and her husband Tonestepa (producer) have made an efficacious homage to the voice of Prodigy, Maxim. ‘Dark Angel’ was published on March 30th (2019) in conjunction with World Bipolar Day and 2019 MP3 sales benefit Help Musicians UK – an independent mental health support organization for musicians. Having outspokenly addressed her own mental health situations in her music and in an autobiography previously, the track is a continuation of her influential path and a deeply visceral rhythmic, wraithy evocation. 

The first 40 seconds of the track open as instrumental.  In this intro (as also experienced in the fully instrumental version of the song) the influence of early breakbeat techno is met with dubstep wiring. The contemporary and original mutations on drum and bass really approach a mid-tempo Prodigy-esk atmosphere.  When the musical elements of ‘Dark Angel’ are met with parallel lyrics, the genuine personal connection is clear. 

Through the minimalist AB-AB CC CC rhyme scheme, the lyrical content of the track emphasizes a shared conjunction. Furthermore, the self-produced press-release by the Ibiza Burlesque Festival owner quotes (in part), ‘he motivated me to be fearless in expressing my fiercer side through music which had an immense cathartic effect in my life.’  The power of catharsis to heal and lead those who are suffering onward comes through in the lyrical final couplet. From shared tears to flight.

Written by Saul Bleaeck, staff writer

June 22nd, 2019

BEN BLACKETT

by Saul Bleaeck

a review based on his recently released album

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unbound, full length album

Seattle-based audio engineer veteran Ben Blackett debuted his self-announced re-entry into music in Decemeber of 2018 with ‘Unbound’ and that’s where I began my listening journey through his succinct (current trilogy) of releases.  One of the first things to catch my eye when opening his bandcamp page is the brilliant astral color visual design – his originals.  Not only did I want to start at the beginning of this artist’s discography for chronological reasons, the aurora borealis nebulized my curiosity.  ‘Unbound’ seemed to carry with it a personal flare, as if to say, ‘Here am I – out from the shadows.’ 

 

What you have upon opening the ‘Unbound’ release page is not only the usual track list but in the description, a catalogued briefing of each track.  I love it when artists give verbiage to their instrumental works.  Blackett’s is imaginative but sensory.  The titles alone are enough to set the mood but his lyrical exposés of each track allow for - in fact, elicit - some drama, a narrative.  We begin with the extroverted star-gazing setting, ascend into cosmic melding, encounter celestial weathers which, eventually, are imbibed unto a pronounced metaphysical Zen.

 

The tags: ‘electronic’ ‘chillout’ ‘downtempo’ & ‘psychill’ further give you a pretty clear picture for what you’re in for when you press play.  None of them fully capture what’s going on but collectively they send the message.  A sign of someone who has been doing music for a while (and has some degree of confidence in what they’re setting out to do) is that there isn’t an over-reaching/over-tagging exertion.  If I had to add my own singular tag to this release, it’d be ‘funk-ambient.’  There’s some amazing disco-influenced etherealism in these purely designed 7 tracks.  Intricate synth fills floating on straight-ahead time signatures, Blackett finds the groove quickly in each track and then lets it roll like a tide-pool through it’s curious life-span – 4-8 minutes. 

 

In ‘Unbound’ Blackett musically captures his poetically cast spells.  The obvious mastery of production doesn’t get lost in new age mumbo-jumbo.  There is an overt existential agenda which is carried out for the listener as a gentle wooing guide, not as a dictatorial orator.  The 40 minutes really sweeps you into it and thus offers a willing participant exactly what it purports, ‘a journey in motion, time and space.’

Written by Saul Bleaeck, staff writer

June 1st, 2019

LEIFENDETH

by Saul Bleaeck

a review based on their recently released EP

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lost future ep

Within the first few measures of the first (and title) track, ‘Lost Future’ activates with an engaging albeit compressed power.  Heavy goth-flavored industrial synth mutates over the next several minutes which entertain with an infusion of tasteful vox samples, syncopations, & minimal mid-tempo electro-percussive rolls.

 

Catch a bit of a breather during the 'remixed and reassembled’ [Braphonyte 7] second track, ‘Incident Zero.’ Here we encounter an ominous rolling/pulsing sort of cold blanket. The triplet-laden bass drum loop heaves across subdued static melody.  Midway, there is a reduction/interlude of nearly a single suspenseful sustained note which summons the baritone infusion/invocation of ‘ Further evolving rhythmic-drone powers on and something of a siren wafts into the mix before a revisitation of deep vocals and driving distorted downbeat ‘shut down the machine’ followed by a patient winding-down of the scene.

 

’Not Again (relapse version)’ opens with a quicker cadenced high-frequency modulation which creates a satisfyingly ironic dissonance for the grimmacingly ominous musings on pain and survival which overshadow this vocal track. The state of world-in-duress contextualizes personal struggle, ‘I don’t know if I can mend; I don’t know if I can do this again.’ Holistic impending doom might be as good a reason as any to repeat whatever coping mechanism one employs. There is a glimmer of something redeeming in the line, ‘when chaos reigns the evil drains away…’ but the e.p. concludes with an outsider voicing an Orwellian assurance which softly slams the door on any suggestion of possibility beyond what is fabricated.

Written by Saul Bleaeck, staff writer

June 1st, 2019

MILES MATRIX

by Gregory Jack Rogers

a review based on their recently released album

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buena vista FULL ALBUM

This assignment came complete with a press release so that was indeed helpful. Miles Matrix is releasing their first album, an 8 track collection of synthwave, outrun and cinematic dark synth songs inspired by 80s movie soundtracks, video games and pop as well as the sounds of Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis and John Carpenter (from the press release).  

 

On first pass, the description given is spot on. Electronic drums, fat synth bass and sizzling leads are all over the place. The musical influences are clearly as stated. Cinematic Dark Synth present? Check. And for a moment, I'm in the middle of War Games (track 04, Adventure Club) running from the government trying to find Faulkner.  

 

Now to the meat and potatoes.  

 

The opening track is Night Striker. It is designated as an album version which leads me to believe there are other versions created or planned in future releases. It has a pretty decent build up with some of the typical sounds you might expect from a synthwave track. Break at 1:49 for a crack of thunder and a brief breakdown. I could see this playing in a seedy 80s night club and just as it starts, a ray of light cuts through the gloom. There's a level of positivity in this that kind of gives hope among the darkness.  

 

Starpilot is the next track. This is a combination of film score/video game, I think. So maybe a little Carpenter, a little Jarre. The feel is urgency and task so while I'm writing this, I feel like I'm forgetting something. Oh, that's right. I'm writing a music review. A lot of arpeggios throughout this track. Good solid ending.  

 

Super Getaway Driver: Miami is the third track. This has somewhat a cinematic beginning with some sound effects... traffic noise, a muscle car starts its engines. The music is eerie, mysterious. Then the bass line starts. The drums.  Some sound effects I think I have heard before but cannot place where. And the lead comes in.  I like that there is a lot of nice bass sounds in this record. It's synthwave but not so typical.  

 

We're almost halfway through this journey and the adventure begins. Adventure Club is another film score-esque sounding track. It reminds me of movie chase scenes from some of the 80s movies with synth-laden scores. It's got some nice changes in it and some really big crescendos. Synth toms are a recurring choice throughout the album but tastefully enough that I'm not banging my head against the desk.  

 

Track five starts with some dialog from the movie "Assignment: Outer Space" I assume. It was listed in the track notes and this was the first movie sample I heard. This is a slower tempo track and while it started with a movie quote, I'd put this as more video game or just instrumental pop if that is a thing. The ending wraps up with more dialog I suspect from the same film.  

 

And then it was 1987 and the film Mannequin pops on my screen. The track Stay A While, Stay Forever starts and it's reminiscent of such 80s rom coms like the aforementioned. For the first time on this album, there are vocals and I'm not sure if they were an afterthought. They seem to be low in the mix and serve more as an additional instrument as I can't discern what is being said.  I like the music a lot. It's dark but with rays of light showing through.  

 

Main Force Patrol is clearly a video game inspired track. It seems like an evolved version of Mario type music. Not bad, but I didn't think there was much to latch onto in this track.  

 

The final track is also a vocal track. Enemy Mine starts strong. I like the simple drum sounds and the bass line combination. The vocals are louder here, but there isn't any power behind the voice. They're whispered or breathed almost which gives a feel of insecurity or instability. The music hits harder and carries this track as well which makes me wonder again if vocals were an after-thought.  

 

SO overall, I think Buena Vista is a well produced 8 track album, especially for a first release. I don't have any background on Miles Matrix so I don't know if this was his first rodeo or how long he might have been working up to a digitally distributed album, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from listening. I think the song-writing might have been a little on the amateur side and I would have liked to have heard more confidence behind the vocals, but the album is enjoyable regardless of these points. Not a bad freshman release.  

Written by Gregory Jack Rogers, staff writer

May 19th, 2019

FLYING BOHEMIAN

by Gregory Jack Rogers

a review based on their recently released single

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chilling in my beetle single

The description for Flying Bohemian says 'a twenty-something girl from Prague, the capital of Bohemia, producing uplifting music with her synths.' Listening to her premiere release 'Chilling In My Beetle' proves to be just as she describes.  

 

The track is a light pop-esque type tune filled with all the warm tones that tend to draw us in. I can almost smell the ocean waves as the wind blows through the open doors of this alleged Beetle. This is pure 80s and even though this is an instrumental, I can hear vocal lines in my head. The parts are well structured and I didn't get any sense of repetitiveness all the times I've listened to it. With a nice driving beat, percolating synths and a thick bassline, this could easily become anyone's favorite song for driving. And that may very well have been the inspiration of the track name to begin with.  

 

You can grab this from bandcamp and at the time of writing, you can name your price.

Written by Gregory Jack Rogers, staff writer

May 19th, 2019

THE FAIR ATTEMPTS

by Gregory Jack Rogers

a review based on their recently released EP

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aristotal six track ep

The assignment came across my desk to review The Fair Attempts and I remember the first thought I had was how the EP title was a play on the name Aristotle. I'm sure there is a story behind that, but the title track didn't lend any clues I could decipher.  

 

Hailing from Finland, TFA describes themselves as a collection of 'genres merged together to create this unique music'. Those genres include Industrial Rock, Electronica, EBM, synthpop and dark wave. It was time for me to experience it.  

 

THEN it happened. I played the first track and realize that I've heard it before. The Fair Attempts is on some of the Spotify playlists I am subscribed to. Blowback merges synthpop vocals with electronic and industrial overtones. The vocalist grabs your attention immediately instructing you to 'get your ass down here, it's another motherfucking day'.  Chunky and melodic guitars riddle the track with bullet holes in all the right places. And I will admit to finding my head bobbing while listening.  

 

Bad Battery brings a winding lead synth arpeggio that carries you into its syncopated rhythm.  Vocals in here reminded me a bit of Filter. The last lines stood out for me the most: "I talked to god and god said no". It's a powerful statement and I wonder what the song would sound like had they incorporated it more. Then again perhaps it is enough as it stands.  

 

arisTotal, the title track, is a short EBM interlude dividing the six tracks. Vocals loosely track the key the song is in, but EBM often incorporates chants or shouting so it may just be the genre. I dig the four on the four kick and well placed distorted noise helps carry the energy through.  

 

A Day of Concern is the fourth track in this EP and it flirts with a simple piano intro that is met with a driving bass line.  Vocals come in, again loosely tracking the key but this is more of a dark wave/synthpop type track. The singer tells us not to kill your doctor 'because he's killing you'. Another powerful statement and this time it's given to us more than once.  

 

The fifth track is Catwalk, incorporating distorted vocals with an electronica sound and maybe even a little bit of industrial in there. I really like the feel of this track out of the gate. Reminds me a little of Die Warzau. I'd say this is the gem out of the whole EP.  

 

The final track in the album is a bonus remix of Blowback. It's an aggressive interpretation of Blowback with EBM and industrial tones. After hearing the album version quite a bit, I may like this version a little better.  

 

Overall, I'd have to say arisTotal was easy to listen to and certainly worth picking up. Since this looks like their debut release, I would be interested in seeing what's next for this artist. They've piqued my interest. 

Written by Gregory Jack Rogers, staff writer

May 15th, 2019

GRAVITY GUN

by Gregory Jack Rogers

a review based on their recently released album

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SOFT MACHINE FULL ALBUM

Gravity Gun is a duo project touting post-apocalyptic 80s sci-fi horror synthwave. From Bandcamp, they have six releases including their latest album, Soft Machine, which just dropped on April 1st, 2019. This was no April Fools joke as all thirteen of their tracks push the boundaries of the genres they hail from. No song breaks the four minute mark, but they are all packed to punch. I’d even go as far as to say this album borders on experimental in a lot of aspects. 

 

The first track, First Death, is a great introduction to this madness.  It’s playfulness is held at bay by subtle distortion and a bass line that wants to blow past the limiter. Harvestmen, the second track, will push you further into this fold as the lead lines remind me of a crazed circus ringleader directing fire, lightning and lots of black smoke. 

 

The third track, Synthetic Organism, Authentic Orgasm, pulls it back a little with light bells and pads but the underlying rhythms and bass remind you where you are. And Horse Meat, the fourth track, intros with more insanity but rounds off to this beautiful and catchy rolling bass line. 

 

Then into Sickly Island with its syncopated rhythms and pleasant melodies, you are drawn into a brief two minute soundscape of meditation… and right into Chip Chan which was reminiscent of Kraftwerk to me.

 

I won’t spoil the whole thing for you, the entire album is an easy listen. Some of the tracks that stood out to me were Horse Meat, Hollow Fire, Endless Spores, Dead Doves, Drown… like I said, it’s an easy listen. Lots of good material to latch onto. 

 

Looking for something less traditional in the way of synthwave and electronic music?  This is a great album to have. 

 

Buy or stream it today!

Written by Gregory Jack Rogers, staff writer

April 30th, 2019

GENE SHORTS

by Gregory Jack Rogers

a review based on their recently released EP

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crash six track ep

Having not heard of this group before, I always try to get some insight on where the artists are coming from. The name 'Gene Shorts' was an interesting choice for what the artist is touting as 70s, 80s, analogue, digital, sadness and joy. But when you read the liner notes on bandcamp, the six-song EP, Crash seems to be a story of the "eponymous Gene Shorts and his journey from grief to recovery".  

 

The first track, Triangle Park, to me is pure traditional synthwave with out of tune fat saw wave pads and resonant synth bass. To me, this song doesn't really begin until about halfway in, the change is beautiful and maybe even out of place from the start of it. At the end of it, the section transitions into more detuned synths and seems to "mono-out" at about 2:50 (I almost always review with headphones). There is also a strange outtro in this track where the song ends but fades back into something else, almost reminiscent of a practice I'm familiar with by Depeche Mode.  

 

The next track, Crash - SAZ, is a vocal track and is probably the most commercial out of everything I've listened to so far. Looking at the credits, the vocalist appears to be Sara Hennebry. She has a great voice and the track is well produced.  The message follows the album description of transformation from grief to recovery. "Your life is like a freight train" and "you need to find out your truth". I like the way the music is almost masking the taste of the medicine fed to you in the lyrics.  

 

Outback brings us into another very traditional synthwave sound. The synths are fat and tasty and the melodies are catchy, but I would have liked to see them be less traditional with this sound. A beautiful track nonetheless. 

 

The next track, Red Lips, features MC Gebo. This is another vocal track that could also fit as a commercial track.  It's bright and in a language I do not speak (french?), but it's dancy and fun.  

 

Stag and the Ram pulls you in with a Twilight Zone sample and is a high tempo track I could definitely place in any John Hughes movie. I think this is my favorite track from the album. It definitely has that 80s vibe to it but it is more than detuned synths. 

 

The final track is Embrayer and is another vocal track. I'm not sure who the vocalist is but it doesn't sound like either of the first two. It's not really long enough to be a pop track as it ends at 2:38, but it reminded me a little of The Outfield vocally (since The Outfield are a rock band) but it was definitely more traditional 80s synthwave.  

 

Overall, this is was a good listen and the whole album seemed to be well produced. I'm not sure of the future of Gene Shorts as this appears to be their only release, but it would be interesting to see what direction they head to in their journey.  

 

You can find this album on bandcamp and spotify, possibly other streaming platforms.

 

Written by Gregory Jack Rogers, staff writer

April 30th, 2019 

MEMORY FUTURE

by R.M Campbell

a review based on their recently released singles

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cool breeze & laguna sunset, single eps

Cool Breeze and Laguna Sunset are the two debut singles from Memory Future. The self proclaimed Outrun Synthrock duo bring forth a clean sonic delivery. The chugging synthesizers and wailing guitars of yesteryear are brought back full force with these two singles. “Laguna Sunset” has a tantalizing guitar lead that sways in and holds the piece together. “Cool Breeze” has a great vibe and a “cool” tone, no pun intended. The Fading synths and syncopated claps keep the song driving. However a lack of a strong memorable melody and lack of structure leaves something to be desired. The tracks tend to just peter out with no real pay off, but still bring a sonic aesthetic to the table that is nostalgic and fun. Still, really looking forward to what these two release in the future.

Written by R.M Campbell

April 9th. 2019

CODEX84

by James Reyna

a review based on their recently released album

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skyfall full album

Codex84 is a synthwave project that will catapult you backwards into an era where wobbly and detuned analog synthesizers were used to crank out some of the popular tunes of the day.  Their latest (and only) release is titled Skyfall and is a good representation of the genre. 

This eleven-track journey is bubbly and percolating with sizzling saw wave timbres and pounding toe-tapping rhythms.  The album begins with Cyber Apoteosis (sp).  The name means ‘the highest point in the development of something, culmination or climax’ and fortunately this isn’t the actual climax of the collection, but it is a good start.  Starlight Drive is the next song and one of the catchier tunes of the album. The third track is Merou Dream and it slows things up a bit, but it has some great progressions and pads that carry you through.  But get ready for Qliphoth, one of my favorites from the album. It’s got a heavy bassline that drives and overall is well put together.  Skyfall is a percolating track to carry you into the last half of the album. Dying Sun starts out like a film score and picks up with a simple kick/snare rhythm.  The Paradox is also a toe-tapper. Pulse of the Stars in Agony sounds like it could have been in one of the Alien vs Predator movies. A good addition to the rest of the 4/4 type tracks found within. 

One of the things I like to do when reviewing music is to do some research on the artist to see what I can find out about them, their background and their influences. I do not know if this is Codex84’s freshman attempt at writing/releasing music but if I had to guess, I’d say no. Production isn’t bad. The music sounds good in headphones and in the car.  And the writing also has merit to it.  If I had anything to complain about, In Dawn of Aquarius and Breaking the Grid, a saxophone sound was used but not really played like a real sax.  It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but some folks are picky about their sax. 

After spending a few days listening to Codex84, I have come to the conclusion that I could listen to this on repeat while driving and there are a few of those tracks that I could easily work out to.  Overall, it’s a decent album and worth picking up or streaming – depending on how you support your favorite artists.

Written by James Reyna

April 10th. 2019